Another Broken Police Bridge


Modern-day America and another young Black Male teenager is gunned down in the street for allegedly committing a crime that could have been resolved with the issuance of a misdemeanor summons. ‪Laquan McDonald‬, a 17-year-old Black male, allegedly in possession of a small 4 inch knife and under the influence of the illegal drug PCP was shot 16 times and the autopsy report revealed that he was shot a significant amount of times while he lay dying in the street. The already nationally fragile relationship between the police and the Black Community is now in a state of chaos as American law enforcement agencies continue to struggle with how to provide public safety in urban communities plagued by constant acts of urban gun violence that primarily involve Black male victims and Black male perpetrators.

The October 20, 2014 police shooting of Laquan McDonald‬ may represent the poorest set of judgments regarding an officers’ actions regarding the police use of deadly force. There were five other police officers on the scene with Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke who did not shoot. The question remains as to what compelled Van Dyke to fire 16 bullets into Laquan McDonald‬ considering that McDonald‬, was jogging away from Van Dyke. Another question remains as to why officers did not approach Laquan McDonald, who was more of a “person in medical crisis,” with less-lethal force option such as a Taser.

On Tuesday November 24, 2015, over one year later, Chicago police released the October 2014 video of police shooting of unarmed Laquan McDonald. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder a few days before a judge ordered the release of the video after it was FOI by a media source.

They Spoke Green-Black Friday Boycott

Though there has been calls of a “cover up” because of the 13 month delayed release of the Laquan McDonald video, Chicago government officials could not have picked a worst time. Continued outrage by the Black community regarding the ongoing incidents of police related shootings of unarmed Black males had already sparked demands for a nationwide boycott on “Black Friday.” The Laquan McDonald Video was released two days prior to the largest shopping weekend of the year.

Demonstrators march down Michigan Avenue during a protest intending to disrupt Black Friday shopping in reaction to the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald in Chicago, Illinois, November 27, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Nelles
 REUTERS/Andrew Nelles

McCarthy Fired: “Trust in the Chicago Police Department is broken,”

On Tuesday December 1, 2015 rumblings began in the Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel administration that forced him to ask for the resignation of Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.


“A police officer is only as effective as when he has the trust of those he serves,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel during a late day press conference.


Trust in the Chicago Police Department is broken,” Madigan said in a statement. “Chicago cannot move ahead and rebuild trust between the police and the community without an outside, independent investigation into its police department to improve policing practices.” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she sent a letter to the U.S. attorney general asking the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to open an investigation into the Chicago Police Department

7 Shootings in 12 Months

The release of the Laquan McDonald Video will increase the number of Controversial Police Shootings in 12 Months:
(7) July 19, 2015
•Ray Tensing became the first police officer in the history of Cincinnati to have been charged with murder for killing someone while in the course of police duty. On July 19, 2015, University of Cincinnati Police Officer Tensing fatally shot motorist Samuel DuBose during a daytime traffic stop for driving without a front license plate near campus and Officer Tensing followed him for about a half mile before finally pulling him over. The incident was captured in full detail on Officer Tensing’s department issued police body camera.
(6) April 4, 2015
•The shooting of unarmed man, Walter Scott occurred on April 4, 2015, in North Charleston, South Carolina, following a daytime traffic stop for a non-functioning brake light. Scott, a black man, was fatally shot eight times in the back by Michael Slager, a white North Charleston police officer. The shooting of Walter Scott may go down as being one of the most provocative incidents that threatens the stability of American law enforcement and its ability to effectively police black Americans.
(5) April 2, 2015
•The police shooting of unarmed Eric Harris on April 2, 2015 in Tulsa, Oklahoma features the error of a 73-year-old White reserve deputy who had mistaken his gun for a Taser following a botched undercover operation. The incident created a new perspective that has allowed court prosecutors to critique the actions of police officers prior, during and after they have exercised their discretion to use force.
(4) November 22, 2014
•The police shooting of unarmed 12 year-old, Tamir Rice occurred on November 22, 2014 when a city police officer drew his weapon, shot, and killed Rice, who reportedly had a pellet gun. A citizen had called the 911 center to report a “guy with a pistol” outside a city recreation center, but the responding officers weren’t told the caller said the gun might be “fake” and the guy might be a juvenile.
(3) October 20th, 2014 (Newly Released)
•Unarmed ‪Laquan McDonald‬, a black 17-year-old male, allegedly in possession of a small 4 inch knife and under the influence of the illegal drug PCP was shot was shot 16 times down while walking in the street for allegedly committing a crime that could have been resolved with the issuance of a payable infraction. The autopsy report revealed that McDonald was shot a significant amount of times, once he fell to the ground, while he lay dying in the street. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder a few days before a judge ordered the release of the video. In April of 2015, the city of Chicago settled a $5,000,000 lawsuit with ‪Laquan McDonald’s family.
(2) September 4th, 2014
•Unarmed Levar Jones was shot by Trooper Sean Groubert at a Circle K gas station on Broad River Road in Columbia, SC. The in-dash cam video was released and showed Jones getting out of his car when Groubert pulled up and asked for his license. Jones then reached into his car to get the credential, and as he did, Groubert began yelling at Jones to “get out of the car” and fired several shots. Jones later received $285,000 as part of a settlement with the state of South Carolina.
(1) August 9, 2014
•The controversial shooting of unarmed 18 year-old Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri set the stage for a national debate on race and ethnicity and a blue print for modern-day urban rioting. Brown was fatally shot by Officer Daren Wilson after a verbal dispute that was said to have escalated into a physical confrontation. Following the shooting. Brown’s body laid for over four hours uncovered in the middle of the street of the apartment complex where his family lived.

Once again, police professionals, their agencies and government official are scrambling to quickly find a solution that can help them rebuild trust with Black community stakeholders and more importantly Black men.

Another Broken Police Bridge

Also Check Out: Cops and Coffee” Finding a Police Cure

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For the Holidays

Published by BOLDMINDS LLC

Shafiq R. Fulcher Abdussabur is an author, public speaker, racial profiling consultant, entrepreneur, and retired law enforcement Sergeant. His unique views and approach to urban violence prevention, racial profiling prevention and community based policing have been featured in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, NPR-Where We Live, New Haven Independent, NPR-All Things Considered, WYBC-Electric Drum, New Haven Advocate, Russian Radio, BBC, PBS, New York Daily News, New Haven Register, Hartford Courant, and Al Jazeera America. His repertoire continues to grow consistently. He has appeared as a guest host on WNPR's “Where We Live.” He is also a contributing writer for the Huffington Post.

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